Course Syllabus

Course Description:

Introductory College Writing introduces students to the basic principles of college writing. This course will teach students to find, evaluate, and understand sources while emphasizing that sources exist as part of an ongoing conversation. The skills and educational values taught in ENGL 1010 are described in greater detail in the Outcomes and Core Values sections of this site.

This course is divided into three related sections. In the first section, students learn to read and summarize texts. In the second section, students read a common set of texts and work on summarizing them and understanding how they exist in conversation with one another. This section of the course will culminate in a literature review. In the third section, students will practice their newly acquired skills by choosing their own topics, finding their own sources, and constructing a literature review on that topic.


  • Graff, Gerald, Cathy Birkenstein, and Russel Durst. “They Say / I Say”: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing. 2nd ed. New York: Norton, 2012. Print.
  • Supplemental readings and videos as assigned.


  • Summary/Connections | For each essay you read, you will compose a document that is 2/3 a summary and 1/3 a discussion of the ways this text connects to other texts that you have read.
  • Daily Writing | You will write something almost every day, and that writing will be collected and graded.
  • Annotated Bibliography | A bibliography, with a brief summary of each entry, of at least ten sources.
  • Assessments | You will complete several assessments over the course of the term, all of which are design to provide important feedback on this course.
  • Short Summary | Your first significant assignment: a long summary of an academic argument.
  • Discussion Forum | Because we will not have time to discuss your opinions about the texts you read from "They Say / I Say," you may use the discussion forum to have such debates.
  • Drafting | Each literature review will be written in stages.  
  • Peer Review | You will provide feedback to your peers' drafts of their literature reviews.
  • Literature Review 1 | Your midterm assignment. This should be a discussion of the ways all of the texts you have read in "They Say / I Say" are engaged in an ongoing critical conversation. You should provide a description of this debate, why it is important, who says what, and why what they say is important.
  • Literature Review 2 | Unlike the first literature review (where you were provided the topic and the texts), for this assignment you will choose your own topic, research it, and construct a literature review about it.
  • Portfolio and Presentation | At the conclusion of the course, you will assemble a comprehensive portfolio and deliver a presentation on your work.

For more specifics, see the course Modules.


Attendance: Attendance is mandatory, and I will take roll daily. Furthermore, the success of this course depends on your active engagement. Simply showing up is not sufficient. I expect you to be prepared and to be a vocal and constructive participant during each class meeting. The quality and frequency of your questions and comments directly affect your grade.

Plagiarism: Intentional plagiarism and/or academic dishonesty will result in failure of the course. Plagiarism is the attempt to perpetrate academic fraud by misrepresenting any part of another’s work as your own. Academic dishonesty includes submitting old or duplicate essays for multiple classes, fabricating sources, or allowing others to produce your work for you. These behaviors will not be tolerated.

Late Work: Late work is unacceptable. If you have a valid reason why you cannot complete an assignment on time, you must talk to me in advance of the due date. All decisions regarding late work and grade penalties are at the instructor’s discretion.

Behavior: All class participants must behave civilly and respectfully at all times. Disrespectful or threatening behavior, toward classmates or the instructor, is unacceptable and will be penalized. Neglecting this class in any way (by doing work for other classes, texting, goofing off, reading magazines, etc.) will not be tolerated. Any students engaged in such conduct will be considered absent. Additionally, you must be willing to accept constructive criticism on your work. All major writing assignments in this class are public, and all comments will be geared toward improving your writing.

Students with Disabilities: In compliance with The Americans with Disabilities Act, reasonable accommodation will be provided for all persons with disabilities in order to ensure equal participation within the program. If a student has a disability that will likely require some accommodation by the instructor, necessary arrangements should be made within the first week of class. 

Academic Freedom and Professional Responsibilities: Academic freedom is the right to teach, study, discuss, investigate, discover, create, and publish freely. Academic freedom protects the rights of faculty members in teaching and of students in learning. Faculty members are entitled to full freedom in teaching, research, and creative activities, subject to the limitations imposed by professional responsibility.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due